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Rating Bill puts cart before horse

Media release 7 December 2001

Rating Bill puts cart before horse

Business New Zealand is disappointed that the Local Government (Rating) Bill has been reported back to the House before anyone has seen the forthcoming legislation on the functions and powers of local government.

"It was bad enough that the Rating Bill was introduced into the House before submissions closed on the Government's review of the Local Government Act," Business NZ Chief Executive Simon Carlaw said. "But this Bill looks like being passed even before legislation to implement the outcome of the review is introduced.

"Business New Zealand is concerned about this sequencing as it sets in place a regime by which local authorities may fund their activities before decisions are made on what activities local authorities may or may not undertake.

"This is a classic case of putting the cart before the horse and it seems uncomfortably similar to the Government's approach on the Kyoto Protocol where a ratification decision is being considered before policy options for implementing the Protocol are known.

"Business New Zealand urges Parliament not to proceed any further with this Bill until it has had a chance to consider the Government's as yet uncertain proposals on the Local Government Act."

Contact: Simon Carlaw wk 04 4966555 or Kathryn Asare for more information

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